Local search marketing is more than claiming your business on local search directories. You want to use social media sites to bolster your local search marketing efforts.
A year ago, I did a series of blog posts on how to use the popular social media sites to foster your local search marketing. You can see those posts here:
- Facebook and Local Search Marketing
- Linkedin and Local Search Marketing
- Twitter and Local Search Marketing
- YouTube and Local Search Marketing
At the time, I gave little thought to Google Plus. It looked like a rehash of Google’s Buzz which was Google’s answer to Facebook. Google does not have a good track record with social networking.
One year later, with over 67 million participants, Google Plus has earned a place in the social media environment. In November they added Google Plus Business Pages to go along with your personal Google Plus Profiles.
In this post, I will focus on how Google Plus Business Pages can add or subtract from your local search marketing. Enjoy and prosper.
Local Search Marketing Disappointments with Google Plus Business Pages
1. Google Plus has become the glue that brings together a number of other Google programs. It integrates Google Docs, Chrome, Google Reader, Gmail and YouTube. What’s missing from this list is Google Places for local businesses. With Google’s dominance in the local search directories, it would have been a natural to connect Google Places with your Google Business Page. For now, it is a big, missing piece of the local search marketing process.
2. The absence of any data from Facebook or Twitter. These two sites are the biggest real time sites in the social media environment. Part of the real time qualities of these sites, is their local features. (See above posts for more details). Without an agreement with these giants, Google has no access to their data. Google Plus is missing a major piece of local search data from these sites.
3. Google Plus searches should be exactly called “Google Searches”. If you have a Google Plus Business Page, this can be to your advantage. Google start with its own pages in the social and private searches. Therefore if your business is not on Google Plus you may not be found in some searches or ranked lower in those same searches. Google Plus searches have a bias towards its own members!
4. The audience on Google Plus is new. Currently, they are a different audience from those found on Facebook and Twitter. Many internet businesses have not yet discovered Google Plus Pages. You may need to wait until your business audience catches up to you on Google Plus Pages.
5. Google Plus Business Pages does have a special field for the physical location of your business. You will need to click on the symbol to make sure this address is correction. It does not always identify the right location. I was not able to find anywhere on the internet for a place to fix the inaccurate data.
Local Search Marketing Benefits with Google Plus Business Pages
1. You can have more than one Page for your business. This will allow you to have separate pages for different products. Or you can have different Pages for different locations.
2. Google allows you to develop business profiles and About Us pages to support your business page. You can add Recommendation links to this page. (Reflections of Linkedin). The About Us Page can be used to help your local search marketing efforts by using plenty of geo-tags on this page.
3. You can put Google Badges on your Google Pages and your websites or blog. HUBSpot reported that websites that uses Google Plus button generated 3.5 times more traffic from Google Plus than websites that don’t have the button installed. They will see both your website and Google Plus Page from one search giving you rating power for your local searching Maps. Use Google Plus search bias to your advantage.
4. Because Google Business Pages are so new, you can be one of the first in your industry to be on Google business pages. You can establish yourself as the leader. You can do this for your physical location or for your profession. There are advantages to being first on a social media site.
5. Segmentation of your marketing is important for every business. It allows you to be more focused and targeted in your efforts. Google Plus Circles allows you to segment your business followers. You may want to create a Google Plus Circle around a location identifier so you can target your messaging locally.
6. The Hangout or a group chat is a unique feature to Google Plus Pages and Profiles. It allows up to 10 users to use audio and video chat at the same time from different locations, including mobile sites. No other social media site has this feature. At this point, all of us will need to learn how to use this innovation. If experts are correct that internet marketing will now be dominated by video, you already have a tool in place.
To summarize: Google Plus Business Pages are weak on the “local” quality of local search marketing. However, with Google’s search power, Google Plus Business Pages are strong on the “search” quality of local search marketing. Given the history of history and power of Google, you do not want to overlook Google Plus Business Pages as part of your local search marketing effort. Here a good reference for setting up your Google Plus Business Page. http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-set-up-a-google-page-for-your-business/
What word or phrase would you use to describe Plus Business Pages?